Meet the Designer
Suzi O’Brien is an award-winning interior designer who specializes in Sustainable Design. Her clients delight in her process, which helps them discover and express their own style. With this as a foundation, she created luxurious, functional living spaces, combining beauty and concern for the environment. Her priority is use of environmentally friendly materials, nontoxic finishes, and fabrics, tile and other components made of recycled content. The result is a healthy and productive home that brings joy to everyday life.
Susan earned an associate’s degree in interior design to complement her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in social work. She’s a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Associate (LEED GA), and a talented project manager with a skill-set that includes color rendering, architectural drawing, and 3D sketching. Susan is also an active member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), U.S. Green Building Council—San Diego Chapter (USGBC SD), and Ocean Beach Main Street Association (OBMA). She’s also an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).
Why the combination of Eco and Luxury?
It is my responsibility as an Interior Designer and a Mom to invite options for sustainability and renewable energy. I have a direct line of communication with the emerging world of energy saving options, healthy choices in materials, and my client. Because of that, I have an obligation to my client and our environment to suggest these emerging options. I find that clients are curious and open to choices that more positively impact their health and the future health of our planet.
Luxury is Green
Luxury is… Quality, Healthy, Beautiful, Organic, Local, Hand-made, Renewable, Recyclable, Natural, Clean Air, and Clean Water.
Here’s what to expect…
During the first visit, Susan will come to your house and you’ll be able to talk to her about your living space and what changes you would like to consider. Susan is very open and will give you a copy of her contract and sit down with you to review it together. She will answer your questions about timing, pricing, and how you might proceed. Susan knows you will want to know how much time in design fees and how much this or that might cost. While it’s not possible to know exactly how much time a designer will spend on each project, I will provide you with a range of general estimates so that you can make decisions to keep within your budget. The majority of the time will be spent on you showing her around your home and outdoor living areas and then generating a list of things you feel are priorities. Then she’ll order them based on importance and budget considerations. She will give you many ideas about design options for rearranging flow of people and functions, storage ideas, and whatever else you need new creative solutions for.
While talking to Susan, she will ask you questions about who lives at your home and what goes on there on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. For lighting, she will want to know what goes on early in the morning, at noon, and into the evening. You can expect questions such as “do you have a romantic spot with soft lighting to have an intimate dinner in?” or “do you have parties?” and “do you wish that your home would look and feel great so you could be proud to entertain & host parties?” You can tell her about daily things such as cooking, eating, sleeping, fun time, family time, alone time, friends, homework, clutter, hobbies, working from home, overnight visitors, storage, bathing, relaxing, and privacy.
When you invite Susan back, you will review your priorities and get started immediately. She usually starts by obtaining a floor plan from her clients, but if you don’t have one, she’ll simply measure your home and create one. You’ll work together to define and elaborate on your style, colors, and the mood desired in each room as well as the overall feel you desire in your home. She prepares concept/style options, sketches and source furniture, finishes and all the elements and accessories you want. All of this is done withyou in control of how much time is spent on each project and you’ll both work together to keep choices and decisions within your budget. She will guide you to develop your home the way you want to envision it, filled with casual elegance, beauty and ease of function. Afterwards, you’ll be sure to fill your home with laughter, parties, and beautiful reminders of your most cherished memories.
The work between you and Susan can take place over the course of a few weeks or several months—it’s up to you. However, always remember that homes evolve along with the families that love them.